General Motors will launch a new generation of small turbo and naturally-aspirated petrol engines that, by 2017, will motivate more than 27 models across 64 countries.
The new Cruze is expected to make its international debut later this year with 1.4 and 1.5 litre engines, while the Adam will pick up a 1.0 litre three-cylinder.
The new modular engine family, part of its ongoing ‘Ecotec’ program, will include three- and four-cylinder units with displacements varying from 1.0 to 1.5 litres.
Developed for use in light, small and medium cars and crossovers, output in the new engines will range from 56 to 123kW and 95 to 250Nm of torque.
For the Cruze, GM claims that its turbocharged 1.4 litre engine is 50 percent quieter and more refined than Volkswagen’s 1.4 litre engine.
The company also singled out Ford’s three-cylinder EcoBoost, boasting that the new Ecotec three-cylinder mill has a balance shaft that endows it with a sound and resonance closer to a four-cylinder engine.
The new engines will be powered by regular unleaded petrol in most markets, although some in Europe will get compressed natural gas and LPG versions, while Brazil will get a 100 percent ethanol option.
The new engines have also been developed with petrol-electric hybrid application in mind.
"The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM's history," said Tom Sutter, GM's global chief engineer.
"Along with performance and efficiency targets, we've also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration - and we've hit the bulls-eye."
The company has confirmed plans for 11 engines, and it expects to build some 2.5 million of the new units by 2017 - powering around 25 percent of its total model range.
By comparison, the most commonly utilised engine in GM’s current line-up is its 3.6 litre petrol V6, going into between 800,000 and 1 million cars annually.
The engines will be built at five plants, including Flint in Michigan, Toluca in Mexico, Szentgotthard in Hungary, Changwon in South Korea and a new plant in Shenyang, China.